In preparation for his February confirmation hearing, Joseph Simons drafted an opening statement that included what has become something of an applause-line for political events related to the Federal Trade Commission: a nod to the agency’s tradition of working by consensus.

But by the time his turn came to speak, senators had already beaten Simons, a former antitrust partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, to the punch. When he turned to that tradition in his remarks, the Trump administration’s pick to lead the agency said, “as has already been discussed, one of the great things about the FTC’s mission historically is that it has been performed in a highly bipartisan way.”

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